Crossing the ditch to Auckland, the 16th Annual De Lorenzo ASPYA conference gave members a renewed approach to managing their business while celebrating their inner star amongst Maori culture with a brand built on an ethos of tradition and family, writes Ida Almasi.

The highly regarded weekend in hair started in Auckland Museum with a New Zealand welcome for 250 ASPYA members witnessing the traditional Maori Haka dance. The theme for this year’s conference was, “Everyone is Beautiful, Everyone is a Star” and i quickly became the mantra for a weekend of ASPYA members from all over Australia uniting in their love for De Lorenzo.

It was the second time the event was hosted by Logie Award winning writer and actor, Rob Carlton, who introduced us to Chris De Lorenzo, the weekend’s first official welcome from the De Lorenzo family.

“ASPYA was a dream of our founders Vincent and Anton De Lorenzo to provide high standards for salons and the services they provide through participation and the sharing of ideas. ASPYA salons have experienced growth this financial year despite an overall flat market, and this has been achieved through marketing ideas and support, rebooking rates and special promotions exclusive to ASPYA. We are dedicated to continuation of this in 2019 and beyond.”

Also announced by Chris was the new category of celebrating being a part of ASPYA loyalty members of 15 years or more. As a surprise to members, during the conference there was also a mini expo put on only for ASPYA members with exhibitors from De Lorenzo partners including Sustainable Salons, Glide, Evy Pro and Your Coach offering deals for conference go-ers; one of the many perks of being a part of the De Lorenzo family.

Next to speak was Kate Christie of Time Stylers making a big promise of finding 30 hours of extra time a month to each person in the room. By taking a survey of attendees before the conference to better understand how we use (and misuse) our time, Kate gave an array of tools and practical advice for better managing it.

Kate’s first step was to make individuals aware of the time they are wasting followed by encouraging everyone to make a map and plan out where they are spending most of their time. A firm believer of having a map first and foremost, you can analyze your time habits and see what can be delegated and how you can make changes to make better use of your time.

A few pointers Kate included that hit home were the culture that we have created around to try to out ‘busy’ each other.

“When someone asks you how you are and you say ‘I’m so busy’ this is talking about how unproductive you are. We have created a culture where being busy is the standard. Let’s change this conversation and talk about being great and awesome,” Kate said.

A useful tip from Kate that stuck with us was to do work in batches. The average person checks their phone 85 times a day and studies have shown that no person, male or female, is able to multitask properly. If we set times in the day for emails, phone calls and social media and do these in batches, you can ensure that focus is on the task in front of you and you will finish that task and move on to the next rather than haphazardly doing multiple things at once.

Following Kate we heard from the AHC which has recently launched their digital hairdressing register app, H.A.I.R. – Hairdressing Australia Industry Register, which aims to create a regulatory body weening out non-compliant businesses in the industry. As a founding supporter of the AHC, the spirit within the De Lorenzo network and over all commitment to the industry is a heartfelt one built on a mutual goal of betterment.

Next up was the Sustainable Salons team led by Paul Frasca sharing their recent launch in New Zealand and the involvement with The Endeavour Foundation which has allowed them to work with disabled people as a part of their team as well as their recent national news coverage on ABC showing their research with hair booms – essentially hair stuffed in stockings that collect oil from the ocean, a new feat for the environmental company. Comparing their booms to the rest of the world, a SSA boom absorbs more than any other since hair can absorb 8 times its weight – which is good news for our oceans. A comedic video decoding the Sustainable Salons process and current position in the industry featuring Chris De Lorenzo and Paul gave guests an entertaining insight into the Sustainable Salons cause.

Paul Frasca

“Our community is not like any other recycling program out there, recycling companies would beg for this type of engagement for clients. People are jumping out of bins and we are creating green warriors,” Paul shared.

The show went on with the man behind the Hunger Games hair, Chris Dove and John Simpson of CoCre8 who launched the new De Lorenzo x NovaSemi colour range with an insightful how-to on pushing boundaries with step-by-step colour work in creating new levels of grey, silver and vivid tones using the new products.

Monday night’s big gala embraced a Casino Royale theme inviting guests to dress to the nines for the night of awards, entertainment and dance. Held at the Cordis Hotel Grandroom, the black tie affair was buzzing with passion and that inimitable De Lorenzo spirit leading to the announcement of the ASPYA Loyalty Awards including a 15 year, 10 year and 5 year, respectively, as well as a Hall of Fame Awards given to the team at Hornsby Heights Hairdressing.

The night ended with the dance floor wrapping up and the party kicking on to a private casino room offering tables with the likes of blackjack, roulette and lots of fake money and chips to throw around to have a turn at playing like the big guns without the next day’s regret, minus the sore head or two to kick off the last day of speakers.

The final day started with industry heavyweight Brad Ngata announcing he is the newest brand ambassador for the De Lorenzo family and there are many days of education booked in for the year with the company.

To end the event, the keynote speaker left us without a dry eye in the house when Sam Johnson, Australian actor, radio presenter and philanthropist spoke of his reason for starting the foundation ‘Love Your Sister’ for his late sister Connie, and the struggles that life throws to you and how you can take those struggles and grow from them.

After spending a year traveling around Australia on a unicycle to raise money for cancer research, Sam had stories of life insight that held true for all of us trying to be the best we can.

“Every brick isn’t successful, there is horrible times that come with. If we do something mean it doesn’t mean we need to stop. We are human we just need to keep on pushing.”

The emotional end to the conference ended with Anthony De Lorenzo reminding us the importance of removing ourselves from our day to day to reflect on what we are doing, where we are going and acknowledging life’s achievements.

The next De Lorenzo ASPYA conference has been moved to March 2020 with the location unannounced so no doubt there are hundreds of loyal hairdressers eager to find out where the next weekend of family, community and togetherness will be.

With the De Lorenzo family there’s certainly a lot to aspire to.

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A big congratulations to all ASPYA Conference Loyalty Awards Winners!

ASPYA Loyalty Awards

Five Years

  • Becky B
  • Birds & Fellas
  • Bliss The Art Of Hair
  • Buzz Hair Studio
  • Cuts On Gibraltar
  • D’Aaguanno Hair Design
  • Embellish You
  • Hair Affair
  • Hair Razing Hair Designers
  • Head On In
  • Hoopla Salon
  • Liana James
  • SAHB Hair & Beauty
  • Sapphire Hair Design
  • Stand Out Hair Designs

Ten Years

  • Aspire Hair & Beauty
  • Cornerworks Hairdressing
  • DCS Hairdressing
  • Debbie Atkins
  • Deja Vu Hair & Beauty
  • Erina Hairport
  • Establishment Hair. Skin. Body
  • Interlocks Hair – Face – Body
  • Leave Looking Gorgeous
  • Rathmines Hair Design
  • Roca Verde
  • SOGO Hair
  • The Little Birdcage
  • Tuto Per Te

15 Years

  • Envious Hair Boutique
  • Hair @ Hillarys
  • Punch Salon

Hall of Fame

  • Hornsby Heights Hairdressing